Sky Blues bid to beat hoodoo

COVENTRY City manager Iain Dowie is out to end an Ipswich Town hoodoo when the teams meet in a televised Coca-Cola Championship game at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 5.

By Elvin King

COVENTRY City manager Iain Dowie is out to end an Ipswich Town hoodoo when the teams meet in a televised Coca-Cola Championship game at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 5.20pm).

It was way back on October 10, 1994 when the Sky Blues last tasted success against Town either home or away.

This was a 2-0 win at Highfield Road in a season when the Midlands team doubled the Blues in the Premiership.

Ipswich have since won ten and drawn four of the matches played with Town doubling Coventry twice in the last three campaigns.

Coventry have lost just once in seven 2007/08 Championship games - and that was a shock 3-0 home reverse to second-in-the-table Bristol City last Saturday.

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They drew 1-1 at Dowie's former club Crystal Palace on Wednesday, and the City boss is expecting another tough game in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

He said: “It will be a difficult game, but we are still unbeaten away from home.

“If we can turn our good performances into goals early on then that might give us a platform to win more games.

“It should be one for the purists as Ipswich are a very good footballing side.

“I watched them against Palace when they won 1-0 in their last home match and they have got some excellent players in Owen Garvan, Tommy Miller and Gary Roberts, while Alan Lee is in a rich vein of form, so we will have it all to do.”

A big pal of Town manager Jim Magilton from their Northern Ireland days, Dowie added: “It has been a difficult managerial baptism for Jim because he has had problems with finances and had to scrimp and save.

“He has had a similar situation to us in terms of having to wheel and deal a bit and he has built a side that will play.

“Jim is a very good friend and I am delighted to see him in the management game because I always thought he would make a coach/manager.”

Former Ipswich Town keeper Andy Marshall is expected to be on the bench with Greek Demitrios Konstantopoulos staying in goal.

Isaac Osbourne is likely to return from a knee injury at right-back where Marcus Hall has been filling in, while striker Michael Mifsud is in contention for a return to the bench following two games out with a rib injury.

Tuesday's goal scorer Leon Best is a possible starter, although not fully match fit following three weeks out with a hamstring injury.

Tomorrow's likely line-ups

Ipswich Town: Alexander, Wright, Bruce, De Vos, Harding, Walters, Miller, Garvan, Roberts, Lee, Counago, Supple, Wilnis, Legwinski, Clarke, Peters.

Coventry City: Konstantopoulos, Osbourne, de Zeeuw, Hall, Borrowdale, Cairo, Doyle, Hughes, Tabb, Adebola, McKenzie, Marshall, Ward, Thornton, Best, Mifsud, Simpson, Hawkins.

Referee: Mr T Kettle (Rutland)

n Don't forget to buy your Green'Un that will be on sale from tomorrow night and carry a full report of the early evening Ipswich Town versus Coventry City game.

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